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Soulcaliber VI returns Oct. 19 amid much fanfare. The reappearance of the original antagonist Inferno highlights the growing character list. Bandai Namco recently announced the return of Inferno along with all his evil intentions when the game becomes available for all consoles and PC.

This evil spirit of the Soul Edge can use any fighting style, any weapon, and any means necessary to strike fear into his opponents. Check the reveal trailer below.

Initial community reaction looks positive as evidenced by nearly 300 likes and 860 retweets on Twitter. Other questions from the internet revolve around his tournament availability, which characters will be revealed next (Hwang and Hilde seem to lead the pack in requests), and some even asking who Inferno is.

Overall Soulcaliber VI has a major positive vibe going. Bandai Namco is putting some serious storytelling behind the launch. Game producer Motohiro Okubo trained with the US Olympics bronze medalist in fencing to better understand the feel and action of how a blade moves. The fact Bandai Namco puts this much effort into creating realistic gameplay shows how much they want this game to work. Check out Okubo’s training session with Chamley Watson below.

This is merely the latest move by Okubo as he reworks game mechanics and brings new features to the Soulcaliber community.

In a blog post from July 20, Okubo outlined two new moves added into Soulcaliber VI that are designed to help the newer players as well as give experienced players more to work with. The Reversal Edge gives new players the feel of being an accomplished swordsman with a slow-motion sequence using a move set that doesn’t require in-depth character knowledge. It also helps experienced tournament players build meter for Critical Edge and Soul Charge moves.

The Lethal Hit move meanwhile is a more difficult special move to trigger and is a true indicator of player skill. It opens up the opponent for more guaranteed damage on follow up moves.

Okubo didn’t just focus on players. He kept the spectator in mind, as well. The new moves look spectacular, and other moves are refined to add the “OOH” and “AAH” factor that makes people keep watching. It was something that worked well in Tekken 7, Okubo said, and wanted to add it to Soulcaliber VI.

All this shows how Bandai Namco is really focusing on the competitive side of gaming. For a title to stay front of mind for an extended period of time and be seen as a major player in esports, designing visually stunning games that make people want to watch is equally as important as designing games worth playing.

Will we see a point at which Bandai Namco jumps ahead of other developers like Capcom in the FGC? Only games designed for the complete experience by players and fans will win. Street Fighter is still the king of the hill. After EVO 2018, however, Tekken 7 is moving up quickly. With the launch of Soulcaliber VI, Bandai Namco is now a serious challenger, and the players and fans will reap all the benefits.